Landscape with a Round Tower and Bay, Claude Lorrain
Claude Lorrain
Landscape with a Round Tower and Bay
Back to top
Related works

Claude Lorrain

Landscape with a Round Tower and Bay, ca. 1635 – 1640

150 x 218 mm
Physical Description
Brown ink, grey-brown washes, lined with red chalk with two diagonal, one horizontal and one vertical lines that intersect in the middle, on white paper
Inventory Number
Object Number
1266 Z
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

The same view appears on the front and back of a drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (MRD 181r and v). The composition on the front of that drawing shows pines flanking the middle ground on the right and a group of travellers in the foreground, while the drawing on the back resembles this sheet in Frankfurt more closely. The drawing on the back of the sheet in Paris is a preliminary sketch in red chalk of the kind Claude must have often produced when he began to think about a composition. Only a few such studies have survived, however.

Roethlisberger arranged the drawings in order: First Claude must have made the Paris drawing on the front, then the one on the back of the same sheet, and then finally the drawing in Frankfurt, which led to a 1638 composition depicting shepherds (LV 27, MRP 26). Roethlisberger later added to this group a drawing which shows the same view (Roethlisberger 1983, cat. 33), assuming that all four refer to a composition which was never executed. Some twenty years later, Brugerolles also noted the relationship between the Frankfurt sheet and the back of the Paris drawing, but pointed out that the front of the Paris drawing must have been produced later than the drawing on the back of the same sheet and the Frankfurt drawing (Brugerolles 2001, pp. 150-52). Moreover, she also confirmed convincingly the relationship to the painting. The drawings have a number of important details in common with the painting; the impressively fortified town is especially revealing, since it appears in the background in all four drawings.

The faint lines subdividing the Frankfurt sheet diagonally, horizontally and vertically can be found in several of Claude's studies for compositions. Kitson surmised that - like the more usual squaring - they may have served to transfer his composition from one sheet to another or onto the final painting. Russell, on the other hand, believes that they had a compositional purpose. Brugerolles, too, emphasised the function of these lines as a sort of scaffolding, on which Claude was able to create the effect of depth and scaling, which is a characteristic feature of his paintings.

About the Acquisition

In March 1815, the Frankfurt businessman and banker Johann Friedrich Städel bequeathed his entire fortune and art collection to a foundation which was to be named after him: the 'Städelsches Kunstinstitut'. However, he also dedicated the foundation to the citizens of Frankfurt immaterially, wishing it to be an "adornment and of practical use" to Frankfurt's citizenry. He was thus the first ordinary citizen in the German-speaking region to found a public art museum: the present-day Städel Museum. When he died, his collection comprised 476 paintings, some 4,600 drawings, almost 10,000 printed graphics and valuable books.

Work Data

Basic Information

Landscape with a Round Tower and Bay
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Brown ink, grey-brown washes, lined with red chalk with two diagonal, one horizontal and one vertical lines that intersect in the middle, on white paper
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert unten rechts (mit der Feder in Braun): Cl le Lorrain.
Captions Added Later
Verso unten links Stempel des Städelschen Kunstinstituts, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2356), mit zugehöriger Inventarnummer
  • Nicht geprüft
Work Catalogues
  • Roethlisberger 1968.132.182

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain

Work Content

Motifs and References


  • 25I5 landscape with tower or castle
  • 25H1311 fjord, sea loch
  • 31A231 standing figure
  • 31A234 squatting, crouching figure
  • 25G3 trees
  • 25I1 city-view in general; 'veduta'

Research and Discussion


Object History
Johann Friedrich Städel (1728–1816), Frankfurt am Main
Nachlass Johann Friedrich Städel, 1816.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .

Similar works

  • All
  • Motif
  • Picture Elements
  • Association
  • Atmosphere
  • Emotion

More to discover


Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?

Last update